Interview with NPC Bikini Champ Taylor Rhodenbaugh

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ILS: Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born and raised in South Florida and grew up in Royal Palm Beach with my mom and sister. I’m 23 years old, a college graduate with 2 associate degrees, one in Criminal Justice Administration and one in Crime Scene Technology. Last year, I earned my BA in Criminal Justice from Florida Atlantic University.


ILS: Tell us about your diet and training 2 weeks out from a competition and going into one (peak) week.

At two weeks out, I’m a couple weeks into carb cycling. My coach adjusts day by day, depending on how my body is changing and what my weight is. Going into one week (peak), I normally continue carb cycling until maybe 3-4 days out, then lower carbs until the morning of the show.

ILS: Share with us your favorite training routine.

Glutes are my FAVORITE! Giant supersets to really feel the burn! My typical routine would be:

5×12 wide stance Smith squats, only coming up half-way


5×12 Smith lunge dips (reps are per leg)


5×12 half-rep stiff-leg deadlifts


5×12 walking lunges


ILS: How and when did you get involved in bodybuilding?

I actually went through a bad break up a few years ago and started working out to keep my mind occupied. Then I fell in love again, this time with watching my body change!

ILS: Looking back on your early years, what parts were difficult for you and what parts were easy?

My first competition I placed 4th in Open and 6th in Novice. My second competition, I placed 12th. That was disappointing after doing well my first show, so I used that to work harder on myself. That helped me focus and improve, and I placed 1st in my third and fourth shows.

ILS: When and where did you first start competing?

My first show was the Diamond Classic in April 2014.

ILS: You have had a very steady climb up the ranks of the NPC . What has been the key to your rise?

I think it’s having the proper guidance and support! Having a supportive group of friends and family is so important, as well as having a great coach who knows what he or she is doing.


ILS: Looking back over your NPC career, your conditioning has improved greatly. Is that from learning your body or did you start working with someone who guided you through your preps?

Not a lot of people can say they have been working with the same coach from the beginning. Karen Yoakum is my coach. We have played with different diets each prep and have finally found what works for me. I have my trust in her completely. Karen is great, and I will continue working with her on my quest for my pro card.

ILS: As far as training goes, how would you describe your training style?

At first my training style was very easy going, but training with Karen, she really transformed my style into training like an athlete.

ILS: What has been your hardest body part to develop?

My shoulders! It’s taken me two years to build these little coconuts! Haha!

ILS: Have you found anything special that has helped that body part grow?

I’ve found that adding 2-3 failure sets has helped my growth immensely! Heavy weights help a lot as well.


ILS: Thank you for sharing with us about your training and goals. Is there anyone you would like to thank?

Yes, my family for always being so supportive of my goals and my lifestyle. I could not ask for anyone better to be by my side! And my coach Karen, as well, for guiding me to my dream physique and taking out all of the guess work for me.

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    May 14, 2015 at 05:31

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    May 21, 2015 at 18:22

    Thanks very nice blog!

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